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The importance of prenuptial agreements for same-sex couples

The issue of marriage for same-sex couples has been hotly contested in Oklahoma, and the debate in many circles has continued following the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in June 2015. Gay couples across the country who have been living together for years or even decades can now marry legally, but their years of cohabitation may not always be factored into the equation by family law judges making decisions about matters such as spousal support and property division.

Judges in Oklahoma are not bound by law to divide marital property equally between spouses, and they will make their decisions based upon factors such as the financial situations of the spouses involved as well as the length of their marriage. Same-sex couples in long-standing relationships who have recently married or are considering getting married may therefore be wise to consider drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Taking this step gives spouses a certain level of control over the way that their relationship will be treated by the law.

While family court judges will look at an entire situation rather than just how long a couple were married when making important decisions, same-sex couples may still consider it prudent to take as few chances as possible. Discussing how potentially contentious issues such as spousal support and asset distribution will be handled can also help to strengthen a marriage by helping spouses to better understand one another.

Family law attorneys may urge clients considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to fully disclose their assets and sources of income. Attempting to conceal relevant information can make negotiations difficult and result in a document unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny. Attorneys could also point out that judges are more likely to look upon these documents kindly if their provisions are equitable.

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